Lit for Life

Names, audiences, trolls: The Hindu Lit for Life 2019 had it all


Because there were 170 speakers from across India and the world. Because 40,000 seats got filled over three days to listen to and see them. But that’s too facile.

More, perhaps, because there were big names and national figures, but also quieter voices who hadn’t been heard until then. Because of the level of engagement. Filling up the large hall was creditable enough, but the smaller spaces filled up too, and the audience interaction sessions were lively and well-informed. Of course, as with all such open Q&A sessions, there were statements in the guise of questions from people who probably don’t get to talk publicly often, but most heartening was to see a loud troll shushed by the crowd.

And because there were elderly people taking small steps (or being wheeled in and out) and young ones tucking into their tiffin boxes at lunch time, their parents supervising. Because there were resplendent saris and crisp veshtis on display (though not as much as I thought I’d see). And because of the large number of women I would guess are 40 and over rocking grey hair, but maybe that’s just me.

And because someone from the army of young volunteers was always around, to point you to the right venue, to tell you who was signing books, to just grin at you.

Yes, all those reasons, I’ll be back.

Other Slideshows

Related Topics